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BBC Scotland's Forbes McFall
"Precious Life says it is non violent but critics claim it is using intimidatory tactics"
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Saturday, 20 November, 1999, 18:28 GMT
Shock tactics by pro-lifers
The anti-abortionists protested in Edinburgh

An anti-abortion group is using pictures of aborted foetuses to promote its message as it launches in Scotland.

Precious Life Scotland, which launched its campaign in Glasgow on Saturday, will distribute literature portraying graphic images of aborted babies across the country.

Jim Dowson: Leading the campaign
Around 50 activists will leaflet the public in what is promised will be a sustained campaign. The group's first protest took place outside a Brook Advisory clinic in Edinburgh clinic on Saturday.

There was a small demonstration by pro-abortion protesters outside the launch in a Glasgow hotel, but police said it had passed off quietly and no arrests were made.

There had been concerns that Precious Life Scotland was in favour of using violence, an allegation dismissed by group spokesman Jim Dowson.

'Condemn violence'

"We have never resorted to violence. I utterly condemn the use of violence," said Mr Dowson.

"Precious Life Scotland is an anti-abortion group which is mounting a campaign of re-educating the Scottish public of the realities of the abortion industry.

"The information from family planning is extremely one-sided.

"We believe this will be a watershed in Scottish pro-life activities.

"It will send a clear message out across Scotland and especially to the youth that abortion is not acceptable and is indeed an ugly, grotesque and horrible business."

Fundamental rights and freedoms are being attacked
Brook Advisory spokeswoman
Despite a pledge not to use violent means, the Brook Advisory organisation, which helps young pregnant women, criticised Precious Life's "intimidating tactics and policy of personal harassment".

A spokeswoman said on Saturday: "Fundamental rights and freedoms are being attacked.

"Brook is a pro-choice organisation that is committed to helping young people in preventing and managing unwanted pregnancies and we condemn the intimidation of any centre providing a legal sexual health service to women.

"However, by choosing to target Brook specifically, Precious Life shows a basic lack of understanding about the provision of abortion services in Scotland and the rest of the UK."

She added that Brook provides the same sexual health service as any GP or family planning clinic in Scotland - but they were not being subjected to pickets.

Precious Life, which claims to have 60 members already in Scotland, is looking to establish branches in the main towns across the country

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See also:
27 Oct 99 |  Scotland
Anger as abortion groups clash
24 Oct 99 |  Scotland
Opposition to abortion clinic plans
04 Oct 99 |  Scotland
Anti-abortionists poised for Scottish campaign
Links to other Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.